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Caring for bereaved families is an important element of hospice and palliative care. Hospice and palliative care clinicians must learn to work with interdisciplinary teams to provide bereavement care, and especially to distinguish between normal grief and more pathological responses to loss.

A strong foundation in basic and specialty-level communication skills is essential for HPM Physicians. Principles of communication are incorporated into virtually every aspect of the fellowship year. Fellows must be able to estimate and communicate prognosis to aid in decision-making (EPA 4) and establish goals of care based on patient and/or family values and specific medical circumstances. 

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  • Serious Illness Communication

  • Overview

  • How to Run a Family Meeting

  • Active Listening

  • Responding to Emotion 

  • Discussing Serious News 

  • Discussing Prognosis 

  • Making a recommendation about Code Status 

  • Supporting Active Coping

  • Responding to a Patient’s Expectations for a Miracle

  • Deeper Conversation through Self-Reflection

  • Working with Patients Hesitant to Talk About the Future

  • Navigating Urgent Situations 

  • Skills Consolidation Session

Experiential Learning

  • Inpatient consultation service (MGH, DFCI/BWH)

  • Outpatient Clinic (MGH, DFCI)

  • IPCU (BWH)

  • Hospice rotation IDT

  • MGH Communication Rounds

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